A Maintenance Guide for Landlords
Regardless of whether a rental property is brand new or older, it will require ongoing maintenance to retain its value and appeal.
Some of those maintenance requirements will involve unexpected problems that pop up while others might be issues that require tending to overtime.
Either way, attending to maintenance and repairs in a timely and proactive manner will mean the property holds its value as an investment asset and, equally importantly, will ensure the tenant feels valued and the property remains appealing.
Here’s a quick maintenance guide for landlords.
The Importance of Property Maintenance
Maintenance ensures a property retains its value to both the landlord and tenant. Either proactive or reactive, it guarantees a property is a safe and comfortable place to reside and in many cases, prevents small problems from becoming larger, more expensive issues.
Meanwhile, fixing maintenance issues that a tenant notifies you about allows them to feel valued and helps engender a sense of respect for the property involved.
The key takeaway for landlords is that budgeting and anticipating maintenance costs is a must.
Why Conduct Maintenance?
Whether it’s a leaking air conditioner, a troublesome powerpoint or a door that just won’t quite close as it should, maintenance issues can and do crop up in investment properties.
In some cases, tending to the problem will be a matter of urgency that you will legally be required to fix quickly under your state’s relevant tenancy act. A failed hot water system, serious electrical issues and building safety problems fall into this category.
In other cases, maintenance might be less urgent, but is still a priority to ensure your tenants can continue comfortably using the property as they should. Doors which stick, taps that leak or lightbulb sockets that no longer function correctly fall into this less urgent but still important sphere.
In further cases, maintenance is about being proactive and involves things like regular termite inspections, annual gutter cleans or tree trimming in order to prevent potential problems later down the track.
Our Top Maintenance Tips
Where possible, maintenance costs should be anticipated in your annual budget with money set aside to cover issues that might arise.
Our top tips include:
- Budgeting for 48 weeks rather than 52 weeks rent each year and putting a percentage of your rental income into a maintenance fund.
- Keeping good records of the age and warranties of any essential equipment (air conditioners, hot water heaters, water pumps, stoves, dishwashers etc)
- Keeping abreast of the property inspection reports provided by your property manager. These are designed to flag potential issues early.
- Tending to maintenance issues when advised by your property manager in the knowledge many issues that a tenant notifies you about affect the comfort they experience when living in your home.
- Having a clear understanding with your property manager about the maintenance threshold where they will need to seek your advice. For example, in the rental agreement, you can include a maintenance figure for repairs where they need to ring you prior to proceeding. This allows them to tend to smaller maintenance issues quickly.
- Setting reminders for key preventative maintenance like annual gutter cleans, tree trimming and pest control.
It’s important to remember as a landlord, maintenance is about protecting the value of your property, but it also extends further.
If you are a landlord who is seen to care about a property’s condition and how it would feel to live there, chances are the tenant will have greater respect for the property too, and will feel more compelled to renew that lease when the time comes.
If you’re looking for property managers who will work with you as a landlord to ensure your property retains its value and appeal, we can assist. You can learn more about the Eview property management difference here.